I needed to get out of the city to hitch, so hopped on a bus. It was the same price no matter how far I went, so I took it to Limerick, 2/3rds of my way to Dursey Island and the start of my hike.
Not knowing all the stops the bus would make in Limerick, I waited until it reached the west side of the city. Only it didn't go to the west side. It instead turned north and left town.
Playing the part of an idiot American tourist, I walked up the aisle to explain my ineptitude to the bus driver.
"I have to go back through Limerick anyway," he said. "So if you don't mind waiting, I'll jus' take ya back."
He had a thick Irish accent that was difficult for me to understand. Actually, I'm the one with the accent now, which feels a bit strange. I've even had to repeat myself and talk slower for some people to understand me.
I was relieved he would be going back to Limerick, undoing my stupid mistake. Although, this would mean not getting to Limerick before dark, so I wouldn't have time to hitch or get out of the city to find a place to stealth camp. I booked a hotel room for the night instead.
We got to the last stop on his route and let the final passengers off. The driver got out as well and held up a finger to let me know he'd be right back. After a smoke and a quick phone call, he climbed back on the bus and got behind the wheel.
"After I take the bus to the garage, I'll take you to Limerick in my car," he said.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you had to take the bus through Limerick back to Dublin," I said.
"Ah, no, but I couldn't jus' drop you off on the street so far from where you're going, could I?"
I thanked him and apologized, but he really didn't seem to mind and explained that he lived near my hotel anyway.
I got into the left side passenger seat, which was a bit disorienting. Riding in the left lane really messed with my brain. I'm glad to be on foot otherwise there would at least be some property damage on my future.
When he dropped me off at the hotel, I thanked him and apologized again. He was a good example of the friendliness of the Irish so far. It reminds me a lot of the American southern hospitality.
Okay, so now it's time to try hitching toward Killarney. Maybe they'll take pity on me standing on the rain.
Sorry for the lack of photos, but due to rain I've had my camera put away. Also, I've been too busy getting ready for the trip, shopping for supplies, and busing toward Dursey Island to see any of the sights. Actually, walking the aisles in grocery stores and even chatting to shopkeepers about the weather has been an adventure in itself.I'll post more photos soon.